After everything we have been through over the last years, I wanted to share an experience that renewed my energy and gave me hope for the future. I got to spend time with some of our family members. Writing these words fills my heart with immense joy. The last time we saw our family, we thought we would get to meet them again in about a year.
One of the lessons that I learned during the pandemic was to seize any opportunity to spend time with people that we love. Our trip was very spontaneous. I was running up on the maximum vacation time that I could accrue before I started losing vacation days, and my husband was also able to take time off. So we took the plunge and embarked on a three-week family trip.
This was the first time we had seen our family members in the UK in four years. We had planned a family reunion in June 2020, which we canceled due to the pandemic. It was heartbreaking to miss time with our family. In May 2022, we get to enjoy some amazing family time.
In this blog post, I will share five things that I was reminded of on this trip.
#1: Family is precious
As a result of living in different countries, I have been physically away from my family. I have not lived in the same location as my mother for 21 years and from my twin sister for over 16 years. We have had the opportunity to see each other for a very limited time during that time. We have mostly stayed connected virtually. However, holding my new nephew, hugging my niece, and connecting with our extended family was a priceless experience.
#2: Don't compromise on things that are important to you
In the past, when I had been on vacation, I compromised on things that were important to me. I was trying to save money and adjust to other people's needs or did not even know what was important to me. This trip was different; I knew that I really cared about comfortable places to stay, great food, and taking my time to enjoy the experience. I took my time and planned the things that were important to me and did them. Our trip was much more fun because my basic desires were met.
#3: Don't let fear stop you
This trip was the first flight with our 19-month-old son, and we decided to embark on a 10-hour flight from San Francisco to London. Those of you who have kids know the feelings that arise when you think of a long flight with a toddler. I had played all the horror scenarios in my mind of things that could go wrong on our flight. I am very fortunate to have such an amazing husband and a toddler who adapted very quickly to the new circumstances. I am glad that I did not let fear rule me.
#4: Enjoy the moments
I have always tried to capture beautiful moments and memories. There were so many beautiful moments on this trip that I wished I was recording all the time so I did not miss anything. All the laughter, our son playing with his cousins, and the beautiful sights and new places I visited are memories I will never forget. I made it a priority to enjoy every moment to the fullest.
#5: Enjoy the fruit of your labor
Over my vacation, I reflected on one of the things that I have struggled with for the past years. Due to my experiences with financial difficulty growing up, it is hard for me to spend money on things that I want. I have been hyper-focused on building a solid financial foundation and spending on my needs. The thought of splurging on things because they improve my experience makes me uncomfortable. One of my colleagues shared that she tells herself that she can do nice things for herself because she works hard. That simple thought made me open to doing things for myself, even if they cost me more than normal. It was worth it, and I am glad that I chose to invest in my well-being.
This trip was memorable on many levels. I am very thankful for the privilege we had to travel, spend time with family, and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes it feels like work and all the responsibilities have taken over our lives. It is time for us to prioritize enjoying our lives.
Call To Action
What is one thing you have wanted to do?
When will you take the bold step and do something you want?